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Two cooks, twice the action

Two cooks, twice the action

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Two cooks, twice the action

Seek and ye shall find! Culinary surprises are often hiding (for those who look) in places where you least expect them. Sometimes they are even prepared under the radar by undiscovered cooking talents. Are you in on the secret yet? Keep reading and you will be...

Mike Lauer and Sebastian Berbig have been cast in starring roles: Their stage is a humble kitchen in hotel Hirschen Schoppernau. Their regular two plays to the amusement of audiences, which they perform in the Greussing’s family hotel, are aptly entitled ‘Kitchen Party’ and ‘Chef’s Table.’ Both can be attended by external guests as well. The menu comprises many delicious courses served in a relaxed ambience. Admittedly, the hype about such concept dinners has long since subsided internationally, but this works to the advantage of Lauer and Berbig in a culinarily conservative environment like the Bregenzerwald.

The “aha” effect during ‘Chef’s Table’ happens in several stages. The young duo plays house music to enliven the otherwise sober ambience of the large-scale kitchen. Then it’s on to the constantly changing wine menu. Sommelier Markus Berbig, Sebastian’s brother, is every bit the enthusiastic host, though in a best supporting actor role.

After the first appetizers and an aperitif enjoyed inside the kitchen, not unlike a selection of coming attractions before the main event, the 2-6 guests are treated to a special show featuring: Beetroot rolls filled with sour cream, herbs and macadamia nuts, paprika foam soup with homemade Wantan noodles, smoked fish (from their own smoking oven) over wild broccoli and cauliflower, a duet of pigeon, slices of venison cooked medium with truffled potatoes, or a Riebel (corn semolina mash) roulade with cheesecake ice cream – dishes which are both visually attractive and extremely tasty. In fact, they look so good on the plate that even non-instagram fans will find themselves reaching for their smartphone. Guests will surely taste the joy for experimentation with every bite. Have we whet your appetite for culinary adventure? The Chef’s Table can be booked in advance at any time, while the Kitchen Party takes place weekly as a scaled-down version. So go ahead, peak over the chef’s shoulder, taste, philosophise, exchange recipes and preparation methods, and taste fine wine! At the Chef’s table, enjoy to your heart’s content.

Recipe: breast and leg of quail by Mike Lauer and Sebastian Berbig

1) Cut up the entire quail, remove the breast along with the first wing bone. Chop the remaining bones.

Leg with removed lower bones:
3 white mushrooms (washed), 50 g Shimeji mushrooms
Fresh chervil
4 onion potatoes boiled whole
2 quail eggs, boiled, soaked in salted water for three and a half minutes
4 cl Jack Daniels to flambé

Season the quail breast and the leg with salt and pepper. Roast the breast on each side for one and a half minutes and the leg for three and a half minutes. Return the breast back to the pan and add the potatoes, the mushrooms and a large tablespoon of butter. Let simmer for a whole minute basting it with its own juice. Flambé in the pan with Jack Daniels. Spice with savory, thyme and a little lemon zest. Peel the cooked quail eggs and serve them whole on the plate.

Pea puree:
100 g peas
100 ml water, 50 ml cream
1 pinch of baking powder, salt, pepper, nutmeg

Bring the cream and water to a boil, add the peas and the baking powder, cook for 2 minutes, then season. Place the peas in a small, deep dish (e.g. measuring cup) and mix to a fine consistency with a hand blender. Gradually add the pea stock until the desired consistency is achieved.

Pickled red onion:
Cut 1 red onion in 1 mm slices
300 ml water
80 ml balsamic vinegar white
1 tbsp. sugar
Salt, 3 peppercorns, 1 bay leaf

Boil all the ingredients to achieve a strong sweet-sour broth and then pour contents over the onion slices. When at a boil, pour into a preserving jar and leave to steep for half an hour (tip: the longer they steep, the better they get).

Truffle foam sauce:
1 onion (finely chopped)
1/4 l white wine
100 ml chicken broth
200 ml cream
5 tbsp truffle oil
Salt, pepper, a pinch of garlic

Sauté onion in sunflower oil, douse with white wine and reduce. Then add cream, broth and truffle oil, and cook lightly for 5 minutes. Finely mix everything together and press through a fine sieve. When serving, froth the mixture with a hand blender (tip: the sauce should not boil. 60 to 70 degrees C is a good temp for frothing).

Quail Jus:
1/2 carrot
2 small shallots
1/2 yellow carrot
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 parsnip
50 g celery
3 cherry tomatoes
1 green onion
1/4 l port wine
1/4 l beef soup
1 squeezed juniper berry
4 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tsp sugar

Roast the quail bones in a pot, cut the vegetables into small cubes and roast them at high temperature. Add the tomato paste and roast for another 2 minutes. Douse with port wine and reduce completely. Add the beef broth and the spices (juniper, pepper, bay leaf, sugar), bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes (if necessary add water). Salt the sauce at the end and press it through a fine sieve and reduce until it has the desired consistency.

Author: Markus Curin
Issue: Winter 2019-20 Travel Magazine